Philly’s previous pandemic

Listen 14:28
A Naval Aircraft Factory float, featuring the hull of a F5L patrol seaplane, heads south on Broad Street in Philadelphia, escorted by sailors with rifles. Note the crowd of onlookers. This parade, with its associated dense gatherings of people, contributed significantly to the massive outbreak of influenza which struck Philadelphia a few days later. (NH 41730 courtesy of the Naval History & Heritage Command)

A Naval Aircraft Factory float, featuring the hull of a F5L patrol seaplane, heads south on Broad Street in Philadelphia, escorted by sailors with rifles. Note the crowd of onlookers. This parade, with its associated dense gatherings of people, contributed significantly to the massive outbreak of influenza which struck Philadelphia a few days later. (NH 41730 courtesy of the Naval History & Heritage Command)

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As people try to wrap their heads around the COVID-19 pandemic, historians are pointing towards a different pandemic: the 1918 flu outbreak. Here’s the story of why that disease hit Philadelphia especially hard, and what we can take from it today.

Guest: Robert Hicks, scholar and historian at the College of Physicians of Philadelphia

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